Bosh! Goals! Scoring headers! Goalie save! THRIKER!
We’re talking, of course, about Euro 2016. And as a treat to you all, we’re dedicating our entire round-up to the event. For those who don’t like football, fear not, there is very little actually football chat herein (although we do mention Ronaldo once, sorry to everyone for that).
Anyway, in traditional English fashion, some fans nobs are already hitting the headlines, smashing up a local cafe, chanting ‘Isis, where are you?’ which is daft really, as far as we’re aware, the Islamic State isn’t even eligible for the competition, let alone has a team. Anyway, we’d imagine the French and the rest of Europe are praying for a swift (Br)exit for England.
Still, we’re a content marketing agency, so we’re interested in the marketing efforts of associated brands and sponsors.
Let’s pick three and see how they’re doing it.
Health store McDonald’s is the official sponsor of UEFA’s fantasy football (the somewhat dubious hashtag for which is #EUROfantasy which sounds more like something you might watch on Babestation than interact with on Twitter).
Aside from that, there are a load of brand initiatives happening, from FA community football days, giving kids the chance to mascot and, with a sound reminder that marketing should be internal as well as external, running the McDonald’s EURO Cup, giving its employees the chance to play in one of the official competition stadiums.
Oddly, the McDonald’s social channels are relatively(currently) quiet on the footy front, although they have been running competitions on Facebook: one asking fans to send in their footy skills for the chance to win tickets to the finals, the other to send a supporter selfie for tickets to England’s opening games.
Sponsorship deals mean exclusivity. Coke, for instance, has exclusive rights to all non-alcoholic beverages for the competition (although we’re not sure that extends to players. Can’t imagine Ronaldo settling down for a half-time can. Rooney maybe…) Following on from the success of its personalised bottles, Coke launched limited edition bottles based on the hosts, France, back when the draw was made. And across Europe country-specific cans have been released – perfect Twitter fodder.
In fact, on social as a whole, they’ve been really proactive, offering neat little apps to organise Euro 2016 games to your calendar, Twitter banners leading up to the event and a Coca-Cola branded cab doing the rounds around London, treasure hunt style, with clues dotted across social media. This incentive is particularly clever as it utilises all the good bits of Twitter: real-time engagement to get people involved.
This is a great lesson for all of us on social media: don’t forget the social aspect. The right thought and the right strategy can create a wonderful sense of community. Obviously, we can’t all afford to send a cab around the city, but there are ways of creating two-way dialogue rather than simply posting your content and hoping for the best.
Whatever hard work Coke put in, however, has been completely undone by its official tournament song which, as you would probably expect, is the limpest, anodyne slice of nothing imaginable. Rousing? No. Catchy? No. Pointless? Yes.
The Danish beer brand’s big push this year has been around the line ‘If Carlsberg did substitutions…’. They installed a vending machine with a difference, offering patrons the chance to swap their shirt with a replica of the 1966 world cup shirt worn by Moore, Hurst et al.
The substitution, in this case, was shirt for shirt. Others include your seat for a EURO seat, pessimism with optimism, and giving for getting. It’s a great idea, the substitute angle, and one with legs. But it’s classic advertising. Online, things aren’t quite so pretty. There’s a dedicated website for the event which is confused, clunky and frankly, horrible.
On the social side, it’s running a few competitions inviting people to send in selfies but the uploading functionality appears to be broken (see below) and the pics they’re posting look rushed. This is not the kind of social engagement you want to see.
Overall, the feeling is of a brand who has a social media, web and advertising team who are working in silos. Nothing feels unified and therein lies the weakness of the campaigns.
- Unify your campaigns across all channels
- Competitions are great on social, even better if they encourage activity from followers
- Don’t do things half-arsed
- Use marketing internally as well as internally
- Don’t smash up cafes you idiots
In other news…